As we approach the end of the year, we have a series of celebrations and festivities coming at us. The first of which was Thanksgiving. This year, the school’s 9th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner was held on the 2nd floor of Canteen #1 on November 24th, 2017.
The decorations and arrangement of the room began as early as noon, as volunteers and event organizers rushed to bring tablecloths, centerpieces, photo booth props and other decorations over to the location. When doors opened at 6.30pm, guests were surprised to see the canteen’s Thanksgiving makeover. The humble place students get their daily meals from was suddenly bathed in Thanksgiving themed decorations, from orange tablecloths to balloons, and even paper turkey centerpieces.
The two hosts for the night, James Pan Yan Chen and Christina Shi opened the night with a warm welcome to everyone, and gave thanks to all who made the evening possible. After that, the renowned Nobel Laureate Professor Thomas J. Sargent said a few words to kick off the Thanksgiving feast. With everything from turkeys to mashed potatoes to cobbler aplenty, everyone enjoyed coming together for a festive meal. This year’s turkeys were catered from Metro, side dishes from Frankies’ American Bar & Grill and desserts from Baeckerei Thomas.
As per the PKUSZ tradition, the night would have been incomplete without the annual lucky draw. As everyone finished up their meals, James and Christina weaved in and out of the crowd to draw winning numbers from a box. One student even managed to draw his own number from the box! In total, we had six lucky winners from both students and faculty members, and they took home tote bags, PKU cushions and Starbucks gift cards.
Once the hosts left the stage, guests took to it to start off the night’s group karaoke session. The karaoke sign-up sheet was passed around from guest to guest and Qiu Yu Ye of the School of Urban Planning and Design volunteered to sing first. International students also flocked to the stage to sing KTV favorites like Despacito, Hips Don’t Lie, etc. An international student even managed to sing a Chinese song in the night’s playlist. Those who didn’t feel comfortable behind the microphone supported main acts with maracas and a tambourine.
The karaoke session continued long after dinner ended, and it was clear that everyone enjoyed themselves as the stage turned into a dance floor. Though the night unfortunately had to end, people enjoyed themselves over good food and great conversation with friends old and new. The annual Thanksgiving Dinner is not only an opportunity for everyone to come together and be thankful, but also a great way for the Chinese students to mingle with the international students as they all sit under one roof to have a meal together.
Each year the Thanksgiving Celebration is organized by the PKU Shenzhen Chancellor’s Secretariat Office, Campus Advisor Program, International Association, and English Association, with financial support from the HSBC Business School, School of Transnational Law, and Yinyuan Catering Services.
Reported by Wandong Yang
Photos by 廖雨晴, 王宇, Taurai Muvunza